Polynesians - Economy



In traditional Polynesia, farming and fishing were the major subsistence activities. But skills associated with farming and fishing are of little value in the urban United States and most Polynesians find employment in unskilled and semiskilled jobs. Men work mainly in construction and in factories, and women work in such low-level service jobs as maids or hospital aides. The unemployment rate among Polynesian men in the 1970s was 25 percent. Recently, more Polynesians are attending college, suggesting the possibility of greater Polynesian involvement in the professional and business sectors in future years. Although Polynesians as a group are Economically disadvantaged in the United States, they perceive their situation there as more favorable than it would be in the Islands. An important feature of the Polynesian economy in the United States is the economic ties maintained with the homeland. These include ownership of island property and regular cash remittances sent to kin on the islands. These transfers are used to pay debts, to support the emigration of kin, to purchase goods, and to finance development projects. In Polynesian nations with a large out-migration, these Remittances are a major economic resource and benefit the nation by raising living standards, increasing employment, and reducing balance of payment problems. They are not exclusively an economic boon, however, as they tend to inflate prices in the local economy.


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Makenzi Bower
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May 15, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
This article was very well written. It contained a lot of quality information that I did not contain before I read the article but that I now contain because of this article. I have yet a few questions to ask; Within the "traditional" Polynesian economy farming and fishing were most of the percent of jobs, yet there are now Polynesian men and women going to college and having jobs in factories and hotels, so I ask: Why the change? Has the rest of the worlds technology and stuck up economy caught up with the Polynesian life style/ economy? I think so but if I portrait to be wrong please, notify me.

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